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College, Maltz Museum Help Sign Up Volunteers of Different Faiths

Notre Dame College’s Abrahamic Center and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage co-sponsored an interfaith Volunteer Opportunities Day at the museum on July 18. About 40 people attended and many signed up to donate their time to one of the seven faith-based social service organizations represented at the event.

From left: Fr. Lorn Snow, Len Calabrese, Mike Bloom and Fareed SiddiqThe day was one of two Notre Dame sponsored events connected to “Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America,” an exhibit also co-sponsored by Notre Dame College.

“The exhibit shows how Catholic sisters have built and shaped communities; and the permanent exhibit at the Maltz talks about how people of Jewish faith have done similar things. So the question that came up was how to translate this into social action,” said Mike Bloom, director of the Abrahamic Center.

The Abrahamic Center and the Maltz Museum had an answer. Together, they invited representatives from Catholic Community Connection, the Federation of Indian Communities, Interact Cleveland, the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, Lutheran Metro Ministries, Salaam Cleveland and the Maltz, to talk about their work and sign up volunteers.

Volunteer Opportunities Day“It was amazing to see these different faith-based organizations, who do similar things, mingling,” Bloom said.

Len Calabrese, who serves on the Abrahamic Center’s community leadership council, moderated a panel discussion on social action and community justice. The panelists included: Zarina Siddiqi, president of Salaam Cleveland; Fr. Lorn J. Snow, pastor at Church of the Gesu; Meg Wilson, pastoral minister at Gesu; and Rabbi Sharon Marcus, president of the Cleveland Board of Rabbis.

On June 23, Notre Dame College and the Maltz Museum also presented a lecture by Loyola University Professor Dr. Bren Ortega Murphy titled “A Question of Habit: The Curious Image of Nuns in Popular Culture.”

Dr. Murphy examined the wide variety of visual images of Catholic nuns and sisters used in contemporary U.S. popular culture. Dr. Murphy, who has been frequently interviewed on NPR about topics of gender and women’s studies, contrasted these images with the real lives of historical and contemporary women religious. 

The “Women & Spirit” exhibit will run at the Maltz until Aug. 28. For more information visit www.MaltzMuseum.org.

By Christian Taske '07, editor & writer at Notre Dame College.